The Untethered Soul: Michael Singer


A simple but profound insight into how to improve your inner life

Favourite Lines

The best way to free yourself from this incessant chatter [of your monkey mind] is to step back and view it objectively In fact, the only way to get your distance from this voice is to stop differentiating what it’s saying.

Stop feeling that one thing it says is you and the other thing it says is not you. 

If you’re hearing it talk, it’s obviously not you. You are the one who hears the voice. You are the one who notices that it’s talking 

There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind—you are the one who hears it the real cause of problems is not life itself. It’s the commotion the mind makes about life that really causes problems. That voice talks because you’re not okay inside, and talking releases energy.

True personal growth is about transcending the part of you that is not okay & needs protection

You’re ready to grow when you realize that the “I” who is always talking inside will never be content Whenever you face a problem/disturbance, ask, “what part of me is being disturbed by this?”

If you ask, “What should I do about it?” you’ve already fallen into believing that there really is a problem outside that must be dealt with. 

If you want to achieve peace in the face of your problems, you must understand why you perceive a particular situation as a problem. If you’re feeling jealousy, instead of trying to see how you can protect yourself, just ask, “What part of me is jealous?” 

That will cause you to look inside and see that there’s a part of you that’s having a problem with jealousy. 

This act of maintaining objective awareness of the inner problem is always better than losing yourself in the outer situation. This is the essential difference between a spiritually minded person and a worldly person 

Worldly means that you think the solution to your inner problems is in the world outside

The only real solution is to take the seat of witness consciousness and completely change your frame of reference 

Problems are generally not what they appear to be. When you get clear enough, you will realize that the real problem is that there is something inside of you that can have a problem with almost anything. 

The only permanent solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality 

The way to catch on to what your inner roommate is really like is to personify it externally. Make believe that your roommate, the psyche, has a body of its own. 

You do this by taking the entire personality that you hear talking to you inside and imagine it as a person talking to you on the outside. Just imagine that another person is now saying everything that your inner voice would say. Now spend a day with that person. 

If somehow that voice managed to manifest in a body outside of you, and you had to take it with you everywhere you went, you wouldn’t last a day

Maybe it’s worth noticing whom you’re going to for advice. if I ask you, “Who are you?” you answer, “I am the one who sees. From back in here somewhere, I look out, and I am aware of the events, thoughts, and emotions that pass before me.” 

You are the subject, and thoughts are just another object you can be aware of. You are not your thoughts. You are simply aware of your thoughts 

The more you are willing to just let the world be something you’re aware of, the more it will let you be who you are—the awareness, the Self, the Atman, the Soul. When you are an aware being, you no longer become completely immersed in the events around you. Instead, you remain inwardly aware that you are the one who is experiencing both the events and the corresponding thoughts and emotions. 

When a thought is created in this state of awareness, instead of getting lost in it, you remain aware that you are the one who is thinking the thought. You are lucid. 

If you step back, you will clearly see that objects are constantly passing before you at all three levels: mental, emotional, and physical. When you’re not centered, your consciousness invariably gets attracted toward one or more of those objects and focuses on them 

If you ever want to re-center, just start saying “hello” inside, over and over. Then notice that you are aware of that thought. Don’t think about being aware of it; that’s just another thought. 

Simply relax and be aware that you can hear “hello” being echoed in your mind. That is your seat of centered consciousness 

The lost soul is the consciousness that has dropped into the place where one human’s thoughts, emotions, and sensory perceptions of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell are all synchronized. All these messages come back to one spot. 

Then the consciousness, which is capable of being aware of anything, makes the mistake of focusing on that one spot too closely. When the consciousness gets sucked in, it no longer knows itself as itself. It knows itself as the objects it is experiencing. 

In other words, you perceive yourself as these objects. You think you are the sum of your learned experiences 3/ That is why meditation is the highest state. It is the return to the root of your being, the simple awareness of being aware. Once you become conscious of the consciousness itself, you attain a totally different state. 

You are now aware of who you are. You have become an awakened being. It’s really just the most natural thing in the world. Here I am. Here I always was. 

Your eyes are not really windows through which you look out into the world. Your eyes are cameras that send electronic images of the world into you. This is true of all your senses. 

They sense the world, convert the information, transmit the data through electrical nerve impulses, and then the impressions get rendered in your mind. Your senses are, indeed, electronic sensing devices. 

But if the energy patterns that are coming into your psyche create disturbance, you will resist them and not allow them to pass through you. When you do this, the energy patterns actually get blocked within you 

When you have no personal issues with them, impressions process freely.

This is how the overall system of perception is meant to work. It’s meant to take things in, allow you to experience them, and then let them pass through so that you’re fully present in the next moment Imagine if you were so fully present during each experience of life that it was touching you to the depth of your being

All the subsequent experiences are trying to pass through you, but something has happened inside that has left this past experience unfinished Spiritual growth is about the point at which you start to feel your energy change. For instance, somebody says something, and you start to feel the energy get a little strange inside. You will actually start to feel a tightening.

That is your cue that it’s time to grow. It’s not time to defend yourself, because you don’t want the part of you that you would be defending. If you don’t want it, let it go.

A wise person remains centered enough to let go every time the energy shifts into a defensive mode. The moment the energy moves and you feel your consciousness start to get drawn into it, you relax and release. Letting go means falling behind the energy instead of going into it You just stop telling your mind that its job is to fix your personal problems. This job has broken the mind and disturbed the entire psyche
If you want to achieve a healthy state of being, stop asking your mind to do this. 

Just relieve your mind of the job of making sure that everyone and everything will be the way you need them to be so that you can feel better inside. Your mind is not qualified for that job. Fire it, and let go of your inner problems instead. 

The minute you stop putting your whole heart and soul into the mind as if it were your savior and protector, you will find yourself behind the mind watching it. 

That’s how you know about your thoughts: you are in there watching them. Eventually, you will be able to just sit in there quietly, and consciously watch the mind. 

The most important thing in life is your inner energy. If you’re always tired and never enthused, then life is no fun. But if you’re always inspired and filled with energy, then every minute of every day is an exciting experience. 

Learn to work with these things. Through meditation, through awareness and willful efforts, you can learn to keep your centers open. You do this by just relaxing and releasing 

You have the ability to not go with any of these thoughts. You can just sit in the seat of consciousness and let go. 

A thought or emotion emerges, you notice it, and it passes by because you allow it to. This technique of freeing yourself is done with the understanding that thoughts and emotions are just objects of consciousness. 

When you see your heart start getting anxious, you are obviously aware of this experience. But who is aware? It is the consciousness, the indwelling being, the Soul, the Self. It is the seer, the one who sees. 

The changes you experience in your inner energy flow are simply objects of this consciousness. If you want to be free, then every time you feel any change in the energy flow, relax behind it. Don’t fight with it, don’t try to change it, and don’t judge it. 

Don’t say, “Oh, I can’t believe I’m still feeling this. I promised myself I wouldn’t think about that car anymore.” Don’t do that; you’ll just end up going with the guilt thoughts instead of the car thoughts. You have to let them all go. 

The purpose of spiritual evolution is to remove the blockages that cause your fear. The alternative is to protect your blockages so that you don’t have to feel fear 

Life is surrounding you with people and situations that stimulate growth. You don’t have to decide who’s right or wrong. You don’t have to worry about other people’s issues. 

You only have to be willing to open your heart in the face of anything and everything, and permit the purification process to take place 

When you do this, the first thing you’ll see is that situations will unfold that hit your stuff. But, in truth, that’s exactly what has been happening your entire life. The only difference is that now you see it as a good thing because it’s an opportunity to let go. Every time you get into your car, as you’re settling into the seat, just stop. Take a moment to remember that you’re spinning on a planet in the middle of empty space. 

Then remind yourself that you’re not going to get involved in your own melodrama. In other words, let go of what is going on right then, and remind yourself that you don’t want to play the mind game. 

Set up trigger points in everyday life that help you remember who you are and what’s going on inside.

These practices create moments of centered consciousness. Eventually, you will have persistently centered consciousness. Persistently centered consciousness is the seat of Self. In this state, you are always conscious of being conscious. There is never a time when you’re not totally aware. There is no effort. No doing anything. You’re just there, aware that thoughts and emotions are being created around you, while the world unfolds before your senses If you want to be free, simply view inner pain as a temporary shift in your energy flow. There is no reason to fear this experience. You must not be afraid of rejection, or of how you would feel if you got sick, or if someone died, or if something else went wrong. You cannot spend your life avoiding things that are not actually happening, or everything will become negative.

Most people can hardly imagine what it would be like to be at peace with inner disturbance. But if you do not learn to be comfortable with it, you will devote your life to avoiding it. If you feel insecurity, it’s just a feeling. You can handle a feeling. If you feel embarrassed, it’s just a feeling. It’s just a part of creation. If you feel jealousy and your heart burns, just look at it objectively, like you would a mild bruise. It’s a thing in the universe that is passing through your system. Laugh at it, have fun with it, but don’t be afraid of it. It cannot touch you unless you touch it Your views, your opinions, your preferences, your concepts, your goals, and your beliefs are all ways of bringing the infinite universe down to the finite where you can feel a sense of control. 

Since the analytical mind can’t handle the infinite, you created an alternate reality of finite thoughts that can remain fixed in your mind. You’ve taken the whole, broken it into pieces, and selected a handful of these pieces to be put together in a certain way in your mind. 

This mental model has become your reality. You must now struggle day and night to make the world fit your model, and you label everything that doesn’t fit as wrong, bad, or unfair. 

The tiger knows the limits of his cage when he hits the bars. You know the limits of your cage when the psyche starts to resist. Your bars are the outer boundary of your comfort zone. The minute you come to the edge of your cage, it lets you know it in no uncertain terms The very act of differentiating the amount of awareness focused on one particular object over any other creates clinging. And the result of clinging is that selective thoughts and emotions stay in one place long enough to become the building blocks of the psyche In the midst of the expanse of empty mind, by clinging to passing thought objects, you make an island of apparent solidity. Once you have a thought that stays, you can rest your head on it. 

Then, as you cling to more and more thoughts, you build an inner structure for consciousness to focus on. The more consciousness narrows its focus onto this mental structure, the greater the tendency to utilize it to define the concept of self. 

Clinging creates the bricks and mortar with which we build a conceptual self. In the midst of vast inner space, using nothing but the vapor of thoughts, you created a structure of apparent solidity to rest upon. 

You have to be willing to just watch the fear without protecting yourself from it. You must be willing to see that this need to protect yourself is where the entire personality comes from. 

It was created by building a mental and emotional structure to get away from that sense of fear. You are now standing face-to-face with the root of the psyche. 

Taking all your memories, pulling them together in an orderly fashion, and saying that’s who you are. But you are not the events; you’re the one who experienced the events. How can you define yourself as the things that happened to you? 

You were aware of your existence before they happened. You are the one who is in there doing all this, seeing all this, and experiencing all this. 

You do not have to cling to your experiences in the name of building yourself. This is a false self you are building inside. It is just a concept of yourself that you hide behind 

What it means to live spiritually is to not participate in this struggle. It means that the events that happen in the moment belong to the moment. They don’t belong to you. They have nothing to do with you. 

You must stop defining yourself in relationship to them, and just let them come and go. Don’t allow events to leave impressions inside of you. If you find yourself thinking about them later on, just let go 

If anything can cause disturbance inside of you, it means it hit your model. It means it hit the false part of you that you built in order to control your own definition of reality. 

But if that model is reality, why didn’t experiential reality fit? There’s nothing you can make up inside your mind that can ever be considered reality. 

Try to find the part of you that is capable of noticing that your mind is hyperactive and that your heart is heating up. That part is your way out. To be free, to truly experience life, you must come out. You have to let go and pass through the cleansing process that frees you from your psyche. You do this by simply watching the psyche be the psyche. The way out is through awareness. 

Stop defining the disturbed mind as a negative experience; just see if you can relax behind it. When your mind is disturbed, don’t ask, “What do I do about this?” Instead ask, “Who am I that notices this 

Affirm that all you want is to be at peace & to appreciate life. You don’t want your happiness to be conditional upon the behavior of other people. bad enough that it’s conditional on your own behavior. When you start making it conditional on other‘s behavior, you’re in trouble The key to staying happy is really very simple. Begin by understanding your inner energies. If you look inside, you will see that when you’re happy, your heart feels open and the energy rushes up inside of you. 

When you aren’t happy, your heart feels closed and no energy comes up inside. So to stay happy, just don’t close your heart.

The key is to learn to keep your mind disciplined enough so that it doesn’t trick you into thinking that this time it’s worth closing 

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